Part of Fall 1996
Does all video art stem from Vito Acconci’s early performance-video works? Maybe not, but this is one time we can use the ‘seminal’ without fear of exaggeration. In Theme Song Vito lies on a living-room floor, chain smokes, plays songs on a little tape player, and – staring earnestly into the camera – tries to seduce the viewer into joining him.
In Monique Moumblow’s latest tape Joan and Stephen, Moumblow continues her preoccupation with the creation of a make-believe personae. Playing the role of a love sick girl (Joan) she rolls around her bed, holding the video camera at arm’s length as she addresses/creates her imaginary boyfriend, Stephen. The world truly is a creepy and hilarious place.
In Fresh Acconci (Canadian premiere) American artists Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy restage six of Vito Acconci’s seminal performances for video, including, of course, Theme Song. While Acconci worked with a black and white portapack in the harshly lit warehouses of Manhattan and his less-than-pretty self, Kelley and McCarthy enlist a troupe of naked models to re-enact the performance in a sun-drenched beach-side California mansion. The beautiful young models are seemingly trapped in this House of Video Art, doomed to forever repeat Acconci’s performances, a scenario that reads like a parody of Pasolini’s Salo.